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Gilbert Jerome Schlesinger


Gilbert 'Gil' Jerome Schlesinger was the second son and youngest child of Samuel M and Celia Schlesinger, who practiced the Jewish faith. Gil never married and produced no known heirs.

Gil began flying missions with the 379th Heavy Bombardment Squadron, Kimbolton, England, on 10 Sep 1944. He served as the Pilot on this, his twenty-seventh mission, when his B-17G, #446140 'Miss Lace' encountered heavy flak over the target, the Brabag Synthetic Oil Plant, located just northeast of Zeitz, Germany. After one near explosion of flak, the burning plane lost its right wing and entered a vertical spiral. It broke into two sections: the tail/waist section, which landed near Threna, Germany, and the nose, which crashed into District 7 of the Oberholz Forest near Großpösna, Germany.

German citizens recovered partial and complete human remains and military identification tags for Gil and other crew members seated in the nose section of the plane from its forest debris field. The citizens of Großpösna placed five sets of remains in individual coffins, which were buried in their town cemetery. The US Army exhumed these remains in late June 1945.

The earlier presence of Gil's remains in the Großpösna Cemetery and the US Army identification of those remains as belonging to him was made solely upon the presence of his military identification tag, which the Germans had placed within a coffin with very limited partial human remains. A comparison of military dental records could not be completed since the remains lacked a skull or mandible.

At the request of Gil's parents, his identified remains were re-interred in the Adath Jeshurun Jewish Cemetery in West Roxbury, MA. His government issued headstone is located in Section 31, Lot 11, Grave 1.



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Units served with

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 527th Bomb Squadron


  • 44-6140 Miss Lace

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa, OK 5/14/44; Kearney, NE 5/24/44; Dow Field, Bangor, ME 1/6/44; Assigned 527BS/379BG Kimbolton, England 10/6/44; Missing in Action northeast of Zeitz, Germany on 11/30/44 with 8 crew Killed in Action: 1st Lt Gilbert J Schlesinger, Pilot...

Associated Place

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....


Event Location Date
Born Mattapan, Boston, MA, USA 8 September 1922
Killed in Action (KIA) Großpösna, Germany 30 November 1944
Died Großpösna, Germany 30 November 1944
Re-interrment West Roxbury, Boston, MA, USA

Adath Jeshurun Jewish Cemetery, Section 31, Lot 11, Grave 1.

Buried Großpösna, Germany


Date Contributor Update
02 March 2017 23:24:06 lorelei1026 Changes to biography, awards and events

Individual Deceased Personnel File for Gilbert J Schlesinger; Missing Air Crew Report #11126; German "Report of Downed Enemy Aircraft -- Ku-3401;" research of Janine Hunter, Reagan, TN.

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2016 22:25:02 lorelei1026 Changes to middlename, nickname, service number and biography

Individual Deceased Personnel File for Gilbert J Schlesinger, Past Conflicts Repatriation Branch, US Army.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:11:26 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 11126 / MACR 11126; 379th Bombardment Group Anthology, pg 326 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database